52 CARPATHIAN LIFESTYLE EXPERIENCES: REINVENTING TRADITIONAL WORK CULTURES

The Project ‘52 Carpathian Lifestyle Experiences: Reinventing Traditional Work Cultures’ – a 24 month project (October 25, 2019 – October 24, 2021) with a total budget of 576,081.52 Euro is being implemented under the Hungary-Slovakia-Romania-Ukraine ENI Cross-Border Cooperation Programme 2014-2020 and is co-financed by the European Union. The project implementing partners are the Tourist Association of Ivano-Frankivsk Region and Department for International Cooperation, Eurointegration, Tourism and Investments of Ivano-Frankivsk Regional State Administration from Ukraine, Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture Satu Mare from Romania, Košice Region Tourism from Slovakia, ABA Tourism Association from Hungary.

The Project activity targets Ivano-Frankivsk and Transcarpathian regions in Ukraine, Maramures and Satu-Mare counties in Romania, the Kosice and Prešov Regions in Slovakia, and the regions of Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén and Szabolcs-Szatmár-Beregmar in Hungary. These cross-border regions are full of undiscovered heritage along with pristine landscapes and warm-hearted people. Being at top demand of modern cultural visitor, diverse traditional lifestyles and local work cultures of Carpathian peoples at the same time gradually vanish due to technology progress and are undervalued as means of economic regeneration. Regions face ongoing challenges of realizing their cultural potential in tourism, providing decent offerings, securing new markets. Whilst there is local enthusiasm, communities lack creativity, knowledge on how to exploit their heritage potential, travel industry connections. Although, there are many attractions, areas are still relatively unknown as heritage tourism destinations.

Therefore, the Project aims to boost visitation and create new livelihood opportunities in cross-border communities whilst developing and promoting unique tourist experiences built around traditional work cultures and lifestyles as part of Carpathian Living Heritage Destination. To reach this aim, the project partners are going to turn their regions’ local cultural assets into 52 market-ready products, and provide new entrepreneurial opportunities to local population, motivating them to continue traditional practices and cultivating respect for heritage preservation. Partners will identify small-scale family based entities or individuals engaged in traditional agriculture, food making and artisan activities, mostly in remote rural areas, and will put their lifestyle stories in a centre of new tourist experiences. In order to approach potential visitors and new market segments, the project is going to create / apply various e-travel vehicles and market penetration techniques. These include an on-line museum of Carpathian traditional work cultures, a virtual guide through Carpathian Living Heritage, and a series of short interpretation videos featuring traditional work cultures and lifestyle stories of people within cross-border Carpathian Living Heritage destination – stories of bakers, shepherds, cheesemakers, craftsman and others. The International festival of Carpathian traditional work cultures in Romania will welcome potential visitors revealing them various quaint work cultures.

Partners will create a platform for the cross-border cooperation of relevant stakeholders and common product package providers in order to share similar view on destination’s preferred future, create new markets for local products and new cross-border entrepreneurial initiatives. Thereby, the project will build sustainable tourism supply chains and support small-scale businesses and individuals operating in traditional sectors to sell local products. Activities in this area involve tourism market study, cross border inbound tour operators workshop / familiarization trip, and training events for packaged service providers. Project partners will compile all relevant practices in the field of local heritage and cultural tourism, create and publish creativity guide for local communities on reinventing traditional cultural heritage.

In order to reinforce the recognition of the newly developed tour packages to be perceived by potential customers as CARPATHIAN LIVING HERITAGE EXPERIENCE, partners will produce a number of branding attributed, including branded uniform, souvenirs, demonstration stands and a promo teaser. The project will establish cooperation with travel bloggers and cultural enthusiasts / influencers by organizing living heritage exploration expedition. An abundant promotional literature and outdoor advertising will capture potential travellers by the unique stories of simple people – safeguards of traditional Carpathian work cultures thus motivating them for a visit. At the final stage, the partners will organize an International Carpathian Living Heritage Partners Forum as a major project networking event at the cross-border level.

On November 28, project partners met in Dolyna at the first Project Steering Committee meeting. They have presented the project, experience of partner organizations, discussed work issues related to the project implementation and agreed on a joint action plan.

This project release has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union and the Programme. The contents of this document are the sole responsibility of the Tourist Association of Ivano-Frankivsk region and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the Managing Authority/ Joint Technical Secretariat or the European Union.

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